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Investment in Children: Some Aspects


D. Paul Chowdhry

CHILDREN IN INDIA: CRITICAL ISSUES IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Edited by
Manohar Publication, New Delhi, 1979, pp. 261, Rs. 70.00

VOLUME IV NUMBER 2 September/October 1979

Since the child is the adult of tomor­row, we have to make necessary invest­ments in building up this human capital. If steel mills, dams, factories, roads, bridges, nuclear and electronic devices are necessary prerequisites for progress and development, then the human mat­erial which builds, maintains and utilizes these assets is important. Whether we use a plough­—improved or traditional—or a tractor for agriculture, it is ulti­mately the man using it who has to be given importance. Child development is thus the foundation of the development process. Child welfare being part of social welfare in India, emphasis has always been laid on welfare measures that cater to the needs of the delinquent, the desti­tute and the handicapped children. In a country like India with meagre state resources, widespread poverty, ignorance, and lack of social services, even the normal child is in a sense handicapped. Child development, recognized as part of social welfare programmes, needs a multi­disciplinary approach. Integrated services such as health check-up, immunization, nutrition, drinking water, environmental sanitation, maternity and child welfare services including family welfare, educa­tion and recreational programmes con­stitute child development, which is the concern of the Social Welfare Depart­ment. Though child development has been the concern of medical and social welfare, home science and education dis­ciplines, these have not individually cont­ributed adequately to the development of children, particularly of pre-school age. One of the reasons for lack of appre­ciation of the importance of integrated child development services was the absence of studies about the problems of normal children and a methodology and organization for integrating such services. Though recently some studies have been undertaken and books on child develop­ment have begun to be written, there was a dearth of such material in the past. The book under review is a welcome addition to the literature on the subject. Its usefulness lies in the fact that it contains articles and papers based on re­search studies covering a variety of rele­vant subjects. The volume has been divided into three parts: (i) Perspective for the under-privileged child, (ii) Child health care, health check-up and nutrition; (iii) Aspect of socialization alternative form of child care. The first section deals with the International Year of the Child, children of the urban poor, basic health and educational needs of at pre-school stage, etc. The second section covers ...


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